Research Methods for Information Research

3. Some types of interview

3.4 The telephone interview

The individual face-to-face interview offers the most straightforward route to gathering research-relevant information through a structured conversation. Issues can be explored in depth and the fine points of people’s responses can be noted and analysed. Unfortunately, the face-to-face interview is expensive in researcher time, especially if the likely respondents are geographically scattered.

Telephone interviews offer many but not all of the advantages of the face-to-face encounter and can be more efficient to organise and carry through. They can also be an effective means of conducting research, as long as the ground rules are observed. Most of the preparatory steps are the same as for the face-to-face interview.